So you’ve made a new hire—congratulations! Now that you have a new team member, you’ll want to ensure they have a smooth onboarding journey and feel welcome and comfortable in their role.
But how can you be sure that your onboarding process is a positive experience for new employees? The key to measuring success here lies in onboarding surveys.
What is an onboarding survey?
An onboarding survey solicits feedback from new hires during their post-onboarding phase. It is a list of carefully considered questions that organizations ask their people to find out how they feel about their work, workplace, and company culture. Surveys may be completed with the respondents’ names or anonymized.
It’s an essential component of a company’s feedback strategy. It offers an opportunity for the company to measure the effectiveness of its onboarding process from those who have recently experienced it first-hand. Employee onboarding surveys are conducted in companies of various sizes, from startups to corporations.
Why are onboarding surveys important?
Survey questions for new hires are a crucial tool for increasing your company’s onboarding process and retention rate and improving your new hire’s job satisfaction and productivity levels. They enable HR professionals to collect, collate, and analyze real-time data from people across their organizations. It’s a way to see what’s happening, understand how people are feeling, and identify if there’s a need to take action and implement change.
The feedback from the onboarding survey questions for new hires will help you identify any parts of the process that need improvement and highlight areas where you aren’t offering sufficient training and support. This can help you improve your processes and successfully onboard new people in the future.
Plus, surveys are a positive way to start a culture of feedback early in the employee lifecycle journey and show your people that you value their opinion.
Examples of employee onboarding survey questions
Ideally, the survey for new hires will utilize various questions to optimize feedback and results. For example, the survey is likely to include the following:
- Open-ended questions
- 1-10 scale survey questions
- 5-answer Likert scale survey questions
It’s important to ask the right questions to attain the best feedback for optimizing your processes in the future. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time by asking for feedback that isn’t insightful and won’t provide a solid foundation on which to build future processes.
You’ll also need to consider how your survey questions might change depending on who you’re asking. Onboarding survey questions aren’t necessarily one-size-fits-all. For example, your questions might vary depending on the department your new hire has joined, or if they are a manager or independent contributor.
It’s also worth considering how you might split your questions into different timeframes. For example, there might be some questions you can ask after week one to get feedback on your onboarding process from the outset. By asking this early on, you can get valuable insights such as how your new employee feels about any training plans, their perceptions of their manager, and whether they had plenty of opportunities to speak with other employees.
Be conscious that it will take some time (i.e., a few weeks) for your new hire to answer questions about company culture and engagement confidently.
Here are 20 examples of general employee onboarding questions that will apply to any new hires:
- Did you have an overall positive or negative onboarding experience?
- What was your favorite part of the onboarding process?
- Were there parts that felt confusing or unclear?
- Did we miss anything in the process, or was there anything you didn’t like? Can you recommend any changes to the onboarding process?
- Did the onboarding process have a comfortable pace of progress?
- How do you feel about the onboarding materials? (e.g., handbook, policies)
- How well do you think your role so far matches the job description?
- Do you feel like you have all the tools and resources to perform your job successfully?
- How relevant have your role-based conversations been with your manager?
- How relevant have your career-oriented conversations been with your manager?
- Considering all of the people that you’ll be working with in your role, how many would you say that you’ve met?
- Do you have a clear idea about what is expected of you at this job?
- Do you feel like the onboarding process has prepared you for your role?
- What can we do to help you do your job even better?
- How do you feel about our company values?
- On scale of 1 to 10, how valued do you feel at work?
- On a scale of 1- 5, how proud are you to work for our organization?
- Do you understand how your role contributes to the overall business goal?
- Do you have any questions about your responsibilities or our policies?
- Rate how welcome you feel here
How to implement employee onboarding surveys?
Implementing onboarding surveys efficiently and on time shows that your company values feedback and open communication. Along with the survey questions, it’s beneficial to send accompanying information such as:
- Why you are asking for this feedback
- When you would like their input back by
- If the feedback is anonymous
- How you plan to use and implement the feedback
You then need to choose the platform or tool on which you wish to send the survey. Many purpose-built options are available, including online survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
Yet with today’s specialized HR employee survey tools, such as Bob, it’s easier than ever to create intuitive online employee satisfaction surveys that people will enjoy completing and submitting. Different HR tech tools have various features to help you gather insights from your people. You can find tools that create custom survey questions, have custom polling options, and even analyze the important drivers for engagement and morale in your business.
To maximize your feedback opportunites, consider implementing employee onboarding surveys at the end of the first, third, and sixth months of the new employee’s time at your company.
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How to analyze new hire surveys?
Onboarding new employees is a process that takes time and effort to get right. With the right questions, you ensure you get the most accurate information from your new employees. Once you’ve taken the time to conduct a survey and gather feedback, it’s time to analyze your employee engagement survey results and report on them to create positive changes and improvements across your business.
Make it easy for team managers and stakeholders to gain actionable insights and identify areas of improvement by visualizing your results. You can use pie charts, bar graphs, line charts, or graphics to draw people’s attention to your key findings.
Numeric scores clearly express your results, making it easy to notice patterns, trends, and problems. But your analysis doesn’t stop with numbers. Qualitative data can be a vital part of the bigger picture, and it’s worth running focus groups and digging deeper into people’s responses to see if they have any concerns or criticisms.
Segmenting your data by employee groups and demographics offers deeper insights into each group’s challenges at work. You can use your findings to measure specific team performance, understand why some perform better than others, and create an action plan for the areas that need attention.
Once you’ve conducted a survey, you have a set of results to benchmark against previous scores or industry standards to evaluate your performance. And then it’s time to act.
Report your findings to your managers and create a plan of action. This is your opportunity to take the feedback you’ve been given and show your people that their thoughts are valuable—and can drive the change they want to see in their organization.
* It’s worth noting that new hires typically tend to be engaged at work (known as “the honeymoon effect”). It’s normal for engagement levels to fall after the first engagement survey.
Onboarding surveys provide valuable insight into whether or not your company is setting your people up for success and making improvements to optimize that process. Moreover, they send an important message to new employees that their voices matter and that the company cares about how they feel.
An engaging onboarding experience is an integral part of workplace culture. For this reason, you need to ensure that all your new hires feel comfortable and happy with their onboarding process, and the best way to do that is to conduct comprehensive onboarding surveys.